It’s the most wonderful time of the year (or so the song says), which for many of us also means it’s the time of year when we’ve got our eyes peeled for The Perfect Gift at all times. If you’ve got a kiddo on your shopping list who is receiving speech therapy, we’re here to help!

We’ve asked a few of our clinicians to share their favorite toys for speech therapy, and we’re excited to share their recommendations with you!

First up, the fabulous Kathleen! (scroll down below the video for all of the details).

Kathleen’s Favorite Toy

The marble run (the plastic, colorful one with lots of different slides and base pieces)

Where to Buy It

I got it at a consignment store, but Amazon has them!

How to Use It for At Home Therapy

I use this toy all the time for a variety of expressive and receptive language activities!  I might use them to help kids learn to

  • follow directions or sequence directions (e.g. first put the red slide on and second put the green circle on);
  • request specific objects using descriptive terms (e.g. I want the curvy slide; I want two blue marbles);
  • take turns and work on collaborative play (e.g. My turn to put my marble in; Let’s build together);
  • practice /s/ and /s blends/ (e.g. slide, circle, stairs, marbles, race, etc.);
  • pretend and symbolic play – it is terrific for this! We’ll build an elaborate structure but instead of using marbles I might have cars race down the slides, or have toy animals use it as a playground; sometimes we have the animals play hide-and-seek in all the nooks-and-crannies of the structure or turn the blue circle into a “pond” and have the animals go “swimming.” The possibilities are endless!

What do you think? Does this seem like one your child would like? Have more ideas about what to do with a marble run? We’d love to hear them in the comments below. Want more recommendations? Check out more recommendations from KimBob, Lori, and Laura!